FOOTBALL RUMOURS: Manchester United’s £240m Neymar deal, Balotelli back to Milan? Chelsea step up Podba pursuit

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The biggest football transfer rumours doing the rounds in the national press today...

Manchester United ‘won’t flinch’ at a £240 million deal for Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar Neymar. The fee isn’t quite as eye-watering as it sounds - £75m of that includes wages over a five year contract - but it is still a hefty chunk of money. United want him to be the global face of the club (The Sun).

Striker Mario Balotelli will take a pay cut to return to AC Milan from Liverpool on a one-season loan deal. Liverpool are also going to pay some of Balotelli’s wages as part of the move, which is close to being completed (BBC Sport).

Chelsea are ready to smash the British transfer record and pay up to £72m to land Paul Pogba after owner Roman Abramovich gave the go-ahead for a second bid this week (Daily Express).

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has appeared to end speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League. The 27-year-old France international, who has been linked with moves to Arnseal and Manchester United, tweeted a picture of himself in the dressing room at the Bernabeu along with the message: ‘This is my home!’ (BBC Sport).

West Ham’s bid to sign Emmanuel Adebayor from Tottenham is back on and it is believed the deal could even see Spurs pay some of the player’s £100,000-a-week wages (Daily Mirror).

Liverpool are stepping up their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi, and are readying a £15m bid, after Real boss Rafael Benitez told the midfielder to search for a new club (The Independent).